shutterstock_103073564Botox has a long history of deleting wrinkles, and now new research shows these popular injections may also boost elastin and collagen production. The effects last up to 4 months, according to a report published online by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

James P. Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC, of the University of Ottawa, and David Ellis, MD, FRCSC, of the University of Toronto, both in Canada, sought to further understand the effect of onabotulinum toxin A on the skin by studying its effect on 48 women (43 completed the study) treated at a private cosmetic surgery clinic for mild wrinkles of the forehead and around the eyes.

Onabotulinum A injections in the facial skin resulted in increased pliability and elastic recoil. These biomechanical changes mimic those of more youthful skin. The mechanism for this skin change is unclear, but the effect of the onabotulinum A injections is similar to a radiofrequency skin tightening procedure. However, by 4 months these improvements returned to how the skin was before treatment.

“Future studies are required to determine and quantify the histologic changes that are occurring,” the study authors conclude.

In a related commentary, Catherine P. Winslow, MD, of the Indiana University School of Medicine in Bloomington, writes: “Piecing together this research with continued studies on elasticity and collagen content of injected skin will further the ability of facial plastic surgeons to refine their strategy for long-term planning of antiaging strategies with patients and educate them as to the importance of nonsurgical therapies for maintenance, in addition to opening new fields of potential treatment options for difficult scars and skin conditions.”